Insurance companies could have the methods they use to calculate premiums thrown into turmoil tomorrow when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules on whether or not they can discriminate between male and female customers. Tomorrow the Court will publish its ruling that could remove the exemption from equality laws that allows …
Or prudent - I've never liked the idea of paying more for my 'gender' - what if it was statistically show that black men were worse drivers - could you apply a premium hike on them and get away with it?
And before people start - it's discrimination if it is against something you can do nothing about (colour,gender,disability) - not something you can (religious identity, being an asshole).
Swings and roundabouts, I'll pay less but the wife'll pay more... by 21 December 2012 (when the ruiling comes into force).
Swings and roundabouts
You'll probably find you'll pay more, and the wife will pay the same.
Swings and roundabouts,
Doh, I meant you'll probably pay the same, but the wife will pay more.
"You'll pay more, and so will your wife..."
EU != ECHR
For the Nth time!
@EU != ECHR
However ECJ == EU and this is an ECJ judgement.
Speaking as a male..
I find this to be yet another stupidity in the name of "Equality". If the actuarial models show that there is a distinctive probability bias between male and female with respect to risk, then that is likely to be the truth. Simple statement that "Men and Women must be equal in all things" is just blindness, pure and simple. They aren't. They differ. Live with it.
I'm happy with that bias if there's a mathematical proof that it exists, as that's more likely to be true than the nonsense that spews from a politician's wish that all things become equal by fiat.
This ruling isn't saying everyone "must be equal in all things", in fact it is saying the opposite. it is saying you can't generalise, you have to look at the individual.
Statistics only reflect a given population, not a given individual. But the insurance companies don't calculate a premium for the given population (i.e. all men) and then charge everyone in the population the same, they calculate it & charge for an individual.
The fact I have a penis doesn't make me drive like all other men. My wife has had more accidents than me, but gets a lower premium (with all else i.e. age, driving years, address, car etc. being the same).
This ruling simly says look at MY risk. Not my genders risk. Not my populations risk. But risk that can be attributed to what I choose to do (i.e. MY previous driving record, MY years of experience, MY choice of cars, MY choice of address, MY choice of parking location, MY selection of fluffy dice).
If you split the population into those with surnames begining A-M and those with surnames begining M-Z you would likely find one group to have a higher number of claims than the other. But it would be unfair to charge you a premium based on your surname because there is nothing inherent about your surname that affects your driving. This ruling is based on a similar fact, that there is no evidence that anything about being a man causes you as an individual to be more likely to make a claim.
Men have more accidents. Being a man doesn't cause accidents.
"you have to look at the individual"
Cue "data protection" and "privacy" problems galore.
If an insurance decided to up the premium against the guy who gets spastic rage attacks every 5 minutes on the highway because he's just wired that way as a PET scan would objectively show all hell would break loose which at least 50 QUANGOs and oppressed minority spokespersons filing amicus curiae briefs.
"But it would be unfair to charge you a premium based on your surname because there is nothing inherent about your surname that affects your driving."
As any statistical hypothesis testing would show. And that's why insurance isn't calculated on star signs.
"Men have more accidents. Being a man doesn't cause accidents."
Causality is irrelevant. Learn2statistics.
Wait a second...
"MY previous driving record, MY years of experience, MY choice of cars, MY choice of address, MY choice of parking location, MY selection of fluffy dice"
Do you really want an actuary living with you full time? Also maybe a tax inspector to assess YOUR risk of becoming a tax-evader? And a policeman to vouch that you are not a terrorist?
And why would you want anyone to know that much information about you? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?
Speaking as a lapsed actuary, I'm afraid you've missed the underlying concept of insurance, which is risk pooling. Even if it were possible to identify YOUR specific risk (which would involve far more detailed questioning than you'd like and probably cost more than the insurance itself) there'd be no point, since the premium charged would be equal to your claims (plus the cost of all that research). Instead, insurers divide people into groups on the basis of gender, age, location, occupation etc, and charge a correspondingly different rate for each group.
What the court is proposing might work where insurance is compulsory (eg cars, buying annuities), but will fail when it is optional (eg life cover, health). This is because the public aren't fools - if insurance is legally required to be offered at the same rate to everyone, those who judge they're at higher risk will tend to buy insurance, while those at lower risk won't. As a result, the insurer will either go bust or will have to charge a substantially higher rate to everyone. Big win for consumers there.
@Destroy All Monsters
Causality is not irrelevant. Cause != correlation, if you go down that route, then global warming is caused by the decrease in the number of pirates.
Statistical hypothesis tests are all very good and well where you can control opr correct for all other variables, but to make a decision based upon a binary variable in the presence of uncontrolled variables has a very low statistical significance. The insurance companies only make a choice based upon sex because it is cheap and easy to ascertain and confirm, rather than other, likely more significant factors, such as intelligence, to name but one. It is purely a financial consideration on their part. Whether it is fair is down to debate, and to be honest I can see both sides of the argument. Personally, I think maybe that if premiums are based upon sex, then we must see evidence that they are also being based on other factors that have an effect, and that the price difference genuinely reflects the difference with the correct statistical weighting. All of the information used to calculate a premium should be available to the insuree at the time of purchase.
Car insurance pricing at the moment isn't about pooling risk, its about maximising profit for the insurance company. Charging me more for simply being a male does nothing to lower the risk/cost for the pool as a whole. Charging me more for causing more accidents or parking in a dodgy area does, as it disuades me from doing so and increasing the risk to the pool.
The example you give of knowing so much that the premium charged is equal to my claims is based on a false premis, that being that knowing all specific risk criteria means you can predict accidents with certainty. As long as you don't know enough to predict specific accidents (i.e. you only know the risk), the concept of pooling that risk means that you have an average chance of your premium being lower than your claims.
The example risk criteria I listed above (driving record, parking locations etc.) are already asked by most insurers. I would be fine with completely pooling risk, i.e. everybody pays the same insurance premium regardless. However where, for whatever reason (be it to reduce the risk to the pool or increase the profit to the provider) it is necessary to break the pool down for charging purposes, it is only equitable to do it on a basis of factors one can reasonbly influence, and which lead to a provable risk for the individual in that pool. Gender fits neither of those criteria.
With regards to non-compulsory insurance (e.g. life cover), consumers don't win in the current system anyway. The risk isn't pooled, its minimised by removing risky people from the pool (not by minimisng the risk itself). The only winners (on average) are the insurance companies. All other companies have to build business models which ensure they don't descriminate unfairly, the insurance industry should be the same. If being male increases my risk (testicular cancer) then increase my premium. If not (car driving) I'm just part of the general pool, charge me accordingly. If your business model won't work that way, look closer to home to see the problem.
you have to look at the individual
Destroy All Monsters :
"As any statistical hypothesis testing would show. And that's why insurance isn't calculated on star signs."
And also why, as described in court, premiums shouldn't be calculated on gender either. There is no statistically significant evidence that justifies gender based pricing.
"Men have more accidents. Being a man doesn't cause accidents."
"Causality is irrelevant. Learn2statistics."
I've "learn2statistics", I work in statistical programming at Oxford University. Causality is only "irrelevant" if you're not interested in systems that are equitable and based on what the statistics actually say. Inferring the risk of an individual from population based statistics is problematic at best, and in this case mostly wrong. It only "works" for the insurance companies as their goal is profit, not equitable risk pooling. It is a cheap hack that meets that goal that mostly works for them.
Compulsory insurance must be fair. In no sense of the word is gender based pricing fair (on the consumer). I should perhaps have clarified in my first post that I understand why the insurance companies do this. I also understand how that differs from their justifications.
Re: Wait a second...
"Do you really want an actuary living with you full time? Also maybe a tax inspector to assess YOUR risk of becoming a tax-evader? And a policeman to vouch that you are not a terrorist?"
The the facts about me above are already asked for (maybe not about the fluffy dice) by most insurance companies. I'm not in favour of them becoming more and more intrusive, in fact I would choose an insurance provider who asked me the least number of questions (and pay a bit more as a result). My point is that whatever information I choose to provide the insurance company with about me (in return for a reduced premium maybe) should be used soley on a PERSONAL RISK based basis. Telling them I'm male doesn't provide them with any useful statistics on my risk. Telling them I've had 23 accidents in the 1 year I've been driving does.
"And why would you want anyone to know that much information about you? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?"
I am personally happy with the insurance companies knowing the information I suggested above, for me it provides a nice balance between benefits (cheaper premium) and comparitively low risk. I think maybe you misunderstand my point, its not that they should know everything about me. It is merely that what they do know (and what they should know is a whole other debate) should only be used to increase my premium if there is a fair and reasonable expectation that it increases my risk to the pool. There are no data to suggest that me being male increases my risk to the pool.
Sorry don't get it done, Dude*
Car insurers exist to make a profit - what, just like every other business then? Feel free to set up your own car insurance not-for-profit business if you like, be sure to let us know how you get on.
Back to reality, any extra premium charged to a higher risk group (eg males) can be used to reduce premiums to a lower risk group (eg females). There is no doubt that, as regards car insurance, males have more accidents than females. Note that this remains true even if we control for other factors - location, age, experience, etc. So gender is undoubtedly a provable risk factor in car insurance.
You state that "it is only equitable to (make extra charges) on a basis of factors one can reasonably influence, and which lead to a provable risk for the individual in that pool". I've disposed of the 'provable risk' argument, there remains the point that I can't (easily) change gender. But then I can't change my age, so is it equally inequitable to charge a 50-year old more for life assurance than a 20-year old (or vice versa if car insurance is the topic)?
* "Rio Bravo" 1959
RE: Statistical planning
Insurance is simply big business. Run by people to make a profit. In the interest of keeping costs low and insuring (no pun intended) some privacy of their customers they are forced to generalize based on statistics they can easily define. This is not a whole lot different from budgetary planning of any other company, corporation, or country.
As an example, since this is a tech site: management at company X decides to use the internet for increased sales. Research to find what servers are available and which won't be outdated in the next Y years is needed. However, as we all know, any server can be subject to breakdowns at any time due to many factors. Statistical data is used to generalize which servers have the least breakdowns and general maintenance costs. Granted, some planning about specific replacement parts as well as possible extended warranty costs vrs 3rd party maintenance contracts go into the mix. However, planning of anything else takes a back seat to the decision for the capital costs of purchasing, placing, and running the server in the first place. As time goes on the Admin staff will make suggestions on increases to the budget based on more specific criteria such as a better internet connection, increased local storage capacity, cloud based backups, updated OS, and so forth. The bean counters will report on whether the internet sales have increased the company's sales and profits. Management determines the prices to charge for their product based on prices charged by any competitors. Of course, the sales of the product could decrease also, but that is a problem for the sales and/or R&D departments. However the original planning was due to simple statistical planning on what server to use. It's all just big business buying as cheaply as possible to make a (inflated?) profit on its product.
Now the local gov comes along to tell the company that they have to buy their IT equipment from approved sources as well as purchasing their bandwidth from a specific (local) ISP. The government isn't looking at the company's profits or costs of running the business at all. It's even ignoring the amount of tax it collects from said company. Being politically correct is the be all/end all for the bureauocrats.
Just my 0.02 euros.
Re: Sorry don't get it done, Dude*
"Car insurers exist to make a profit - what, just like every other business then? Feel free to set up your own car insurance not-for-profit business if you like, be sure to let us know how you get on."
There are plenty of not-for-profit insurers, search for "mutual insurance", the NFC is one off the top of my head that I've dealt with before. Anyhoo, I've not got a problem with them as a business making money, I was pointing out that your description of insurance as pooling the risk wasn't an entirely accurate description of how many/most current insurance companies operate.
"any extra premium charged to a higher risk group (eg males) can be used to reduce premiums to a lower risk group (eg females)"
And charging people called Smith more could reduce the premiums of people called Jones. Its arbitrary. Many comments imply that females will now be subsidising bad drivers and that isn't fair. But as good male driver I'm currently subsidising them and that is fair?
"There is no doubt that, as regards car insurance, males have more accidents than females. Note that this remains true even if we control for other factors - location, age, experience, etc. So gender is undoubtedly a provable risk factor in car insurance."
No, there is plenty of doubt. To prove it, you need to either control for ALL other factors (and not just those that the insurance company ask about or know to ask about), or prove a causal link between gender and risk (e.g. testicles are more likely to get caught in the brake pedal). You are correct that it IS true that males have more accidents than females, but this may be due to another factor. I.e people have more accidents because of factor X, and more males have factor X than females, and so have more accidents. The correct response to minimise cost to the pool and fairly reflect risk is thus to charge higher premiums to those with factor X, not those who are male. Factor X may not be known or too costly to calculate of course, in which case the correct action isn't to discriminate, but pool the risk across everybody.
The court also concluded the same, that it was not a provable risk to be male, and that is the only basis on which discrimination is allowed. It may be shrewd business planning to maximise profits by doing this, but no other business is allowed to make money by discriminating.
"so is it equally inequitable to charge a 50-year old more for life assurance than a 20-year old (or vice versa if car insurance is the topic)?"
No and yes. Being a 20 year old is like being male in the driving stakes, not directly relevant. Its experience that counts, so experience (e.g. number of years driving, number of miles driven, advanced driver training etc.) not age should be the determining factor. Life assurance is a different beast, it is not a pooling of risk. It is ASSURANCE not INSURANCE. It is essentially gambling with the providers money. But taken on the same "fairness" terms (and assuming that no master race of immortal humans emerges), it is a mathematical certainty that each day older we get the higher the probability of dying becomes, tending towards 1,with all else being equal. So I would say it is fair to make it a factor.
"But then I can't change my age, so is it equally inequitable to charge a 50-year old more for life assurance than a 20-year old"
Going back to the ruling, this is effectively a judgment of balance and fairness.
Any sweeping generalisations are going to be unfair to a proportion of the population.
However, to put it into context, is it fair for an employer to determine an average work rate split along gender lines and pay accordingly? Society deems this an unacceptable thing to do for the same reason as Rob thinks it unacceptable to do the same for insurance determination.
Personally, I think that it is reasonable to use generalisations to determine the risk of an unknown quantity. However, as a driver gains an insurance/claim record, I don't see why generalisations should continue to be used. Driver history is a much better determinant of risk.
I know we have the no-claims fudge, but a fudge it is.
Still not understanding
Rob, you appear to be really interested in this topic - if so I would advise you to attend a statistics course and learn about Bayesian inference (easy to learn, much harder to understand). I repeat, there is no doubt that males experience more motor claims than equivalent females. The null hypothesis (that males and females experience the same rate of claims) is easily demonstrated to have much less than one in a billion chance of being correct. Your alternative suggestion of dividing the population by name into A-M and N-Z would just as easily be proven false.
Now, it's always possible to say "maybe there's a hidden variable - perhaps shoe size or length of hair is the real determinant" and (like any counterfactual) it's impossible to prove with 100% certainty that this isn't the case. But you can be sure that a whole lot of actuaries, who have to know a great deal about multi-variate analysis, have looked into such possibilities. After all, if you could find one that worked, you could make a lot of money by providing special rates for people with small shoe sizes or long hair.
But don't simply take my word for it. David Spiegelhalter* has written far more eloquently than I about the lunacy of this decision. Unfortunately, it's behind The Times's paywall:
* Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge
understanding, just disagreeing
Chris, I have never denied that males have more motor claims than females, I agree its provably true (by bayesian inferance or probably by plain old frequentist infernece). And again, as I've stated above, its therefore financially prudent to price on this basis and understand why insurance companies do it.
However its still incorrect to say that it is provable that being a male is a higher risk than being female. This is a distinct concept from males as a group being higher risk than females as a group. You can apply bayesian inference to this hypothosis of individual risk as well, and may well come out with a high probability of it also being correct. But without being able to prove the basis on which you started (i.e. that you have either selected otherwise identical males and females from which to collect evidence and you have selected out any other possible traits which may affect driving from the group (not possible in my opinion)) then you have a major souce of inductive bias which makes the results worthless (or at least without a solid footing).
The judgement in question is simply saying that unless you can prove that my individual risk is affected by (not inferred by, not has a high probability, not is statistically likely, but is linked to) the risk of my gender as a group, then you are discriminating against me. You can show that my risk of testicular cancer is affected by me being male (the presence of testicles is a contributing factor I'm led to understand), but you can't show that my driving is affected by (or linked to) me being a male.
The law doesn't allow for statistical probabilities or inference, precisely because they are useless for accurately determining an atribute of an indiviudal. If you studied the prison population you would probably find some very strong statistically significant traits among the inmate populus. But it would not be wise to apply these to someone on trial to help determine their guilt.
I think we both understand the statistics, I think we just differ on what is fair to use in policy pricing (or, where the line should be drawn in fairness vs. practicalness vs. profitableness, and in group vs individual risk). Something I think we probably won't ever agree on.
I can't comment on the linked article as I'm poor and can't read it. I do understand bayesian inference and many other statistical techniques, I work in statistical programming day in and day out, so no courses necessary. Thanks for the suggestion though.
>> "This ruling sim(p)ly says look at MY risk."
A great idea in the abstract, and with regard to driving record, experience and even choice of cars quite reasonable -- and already standard practice in the insurance industry.
But do you REALLY want insurance companies to launch a background investigation into each applicant's life for such other details as you've listed? My extensive selection of fuzzy dice, for instance, is a deeply personal matter.
Men might claim money back?
Really? Call me cynical, but it's likely that women's preumium will rise to match men's rather than the other way around.
Not so sure
Insurance is a fiercely competitive market, so simple economics should see prices meeting somewhere in the middle.
I'd not noticed - the across-the-board price increases I see each year in my premiums seem a bit collaborative to me.
Nah, they are thieving bastards who will find a way of increasing prices for all.
All clothing must be unisex to be sold legally, jewelry is banned and school must handout lipstick to boys...
Daily Mail much?
Men can buy and wear womens clothing as they wish, and vice versa
I wasn't aware of lipstick handouts for girls either.
My mind is all a-boggle.
Speak Your Branes!
Ban this sick filth now!
"Men can buy and wear womens clothing as they wish, and vice versa"
Clothing stores forcing on consumers their gender-related related stereotypes about the type of clothing and price is not acceptable. Free Choice is a capitalist invention. The Government always know best and you are not qualified to dispute it.
"It is not clear whether any change in the law will apply from tomorrow and whether it will be retrospective," said Tucker. "If it applies retrospectively, consumers who do or have held policies that used gender based pricing may be able to claim back any additional premium paid. This could cause large losses to the insurance industry at a time when it is already anticipating increased costs from changes to the approach to financial services regulation."
Oh I do hope so; standing by to make sure some of those "large losses" find their way to me.
On a more serious point, problems around gender equality could have been largely avoided by making the laws simpler and clearer - just pass a law saying that every other law or regulation (whether government or otherwise) which refers to one sex applies equally to the other sex (or "gender", if there's any unnecessary distinction between the two words).
Am I missing something?
this sounds like stupidest ruling in the history of stupid rulings.
Insurance companies have determined that statistically speaking, men are more likely to crash cars and cause damage / injury than women, and that women are statistically likely to live longer. However, they are not allowed to offer products which are tailored to the peculiarities of those groups of people. Instead, they must deny completely that any such differences exist.
In other words, the court is asking insurance companies to behave as if black == white and 2+2=5?
Well, I can see how this will be of HUGE benefit to society...
there's a name for that (possibly an app too)
"In other words, the court is asking insurance companies to behave as if black == white"
Not behaving in that way is called racism :-)
I walked into that one
Oh I just KNEW somebody would post something like that!
Do insurance companies package products based on ethnic background as well? (I don't think they do in car insurance, maybe they do in life insurance?)
That's very dodgy territory, as we that can have social implications beyond just that particular field, if we're actively researching statistics which categorise and subdivide areas of ethnicity by behaviour and life expectancy, etc. That all starts to sound a bit morally questionable.
But I can't see what benefit is to be had from refusing to acknowledge established statistical patterns WRT gender. This seems like pure and simple denial, which just isn't healthy for any society.
It had to be done.
I don't think they break it down by race, but why shouldn't they? If insurance companies are allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender because of a statistical trend, on what other bases should they be allowed to discriminate?
Suppose it could be shown that having/lacking a degree gave rise to a difference in risk calculation (say, if people with a degree were shown to be lower risk). Would it be okay to discriminate on those grounds? If yes, how about breaking it down to the individual university? Subject?
I think there will always be a certain arbitary nature to these exemptions; at some point somebody will say "It may be a reliable trend, but it's going too far." Examples could include employment status, time spent abroad (and in which countries), income (are poor people safer because they can't afford to replace their cars?).
OK then. What about age discrimination?
How do you fancy paying as the same amount for your car insurance (minus no claims) as a 19 year old male?
As for the general priniciple of providing targetted services for different class / education / gender /ethnic / age groups based up statistical analysis of historical data... I'm starting to wonder why we're bothering with a national census AT ALL in this country if this kind of idea is fundamentally bad.
My earlier title was misleading
The title of my post above "It had to be done" was an amused reaction to the response to my comment that "black != white" == racism. Reading it the other way does rather change it's tone. (I'm the ame AC as before).
I only bought a car after I left university, and to get a reasonable premium I became (and 2 years later still am) a named driver on my parents' policy (I still get my own no claims bonus though). I've not yet come to a concrete conclusion about whether I'm glad about this decision or not.
In my earlier comments I was trying to explain that the use of some types of data being used to compute insurance premiums would feel like crossing a line to many, though working out exactly where that line is would be difficult (and always contentious).
I didn't think the census was intended to provide anything other than a snapshot of "British society as of...NOW!". Aside from anything else, I think the historians of the future will appreciate the data.
It is simple
In the beginning the insurance companies will just assume the worst case and gouge people for premiums.
For example all drivers will be treated as male when applying for driving insurance.
All like insurance applications will be treated as female.
After that market forces (if you beileve in that sort of thing) should sort out those with the better algorithms who can offer the lower premiums.
Pensions going to be a bit of an arse though.
Equality - doncha love it ?
this ruling has shades of the ruling which made women equal to men by bumping their retirement age to 65.
Weren't the 70s womens libbers warned to "be careful what you wish for" ?
Re: Equality - doncha love it ?
Yeah, wow, we all totally regret that whole equality thing now. How short-sighted we were!
A vote, a push for equal pay,
as well as the bits that are stupidly in favour of women that used to be massively in favour of men... yeah, I bet the feminists are weeping over the loss of like £200 a year. I'd be surprised if there aren't a couple of suicides.
In other news, I think this sexual equality thing's a good idea- I know girly guys and boyish girls. Guys who can't find their way along a straight road and go everywhere at about 3/4 the speed limit, and girls who've got enough air going over bumps that they've jumped fences before rolling the car in a field.
The risk doesn't depend on gender, it depends on your personality and your attitude to driving. There may be a relationship between personality/attitude and gender, but it's nothing to base your premiums on. How about starting off high and cutting it based it on the frequency, number and magnitude of your claims?
Re: A vote, a push for equal pay,
Genuinely interested to know, without any attitude, which bits are now stupidly in favour of women that used to be massively in favour of men. I honestly can't think of any, and I'm not being sarcastic.
"Weren't the 70s womens libbers warned to "be careful what you wish for" ?"
Well, there you have it in a nutshell, equal rights means equal rights for all, none of this 'some are more equal than others'. Some 'feminists'* can be just as chauvenistic as some unpleasant example of male sexists. It's a case of equal rights, not just cherry-picking the ones that happen to suit.
*I use the term feminist here in inverted commas to differentiate between those who want equial rights, and those who think themselves superior to men. In my mind, this is exactly equal to the sexism expressed by men who consider themselves superior to women.
Your post suggests you don't know the first thing about feminism, or indeed 'feminism', but don't let that stop you.
Re: Re: Equality
Except he didn't say feminism, he said feminists. He's clearly referring to shouty misandrists who call themselves feminists.
It's just like the people who love to tell you they're Christians whilst behaving in deeply un-Christ-like ways.
Re: Re: Re: Equality
Feminists pertain to feminism, no? And he doesn't appear to know much about either. But if he at least tries to discriminate between idiots and non-idiots under various banners then I guess that's something.
Had me giggling audiby in the office, and getting strange looks. I am reminded of this:
According to the BBC.....
.....http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12606610 it has gone through.
So now, thanks to two whinnying, whining, moaning, stupid Belgians, all our premiums will go up.
Another reason for the UK to tell europe to stuff itself ?
might as well end all insurance assessment
Because every question they can ask on a form is likely to result in some kind of discrimination and inequality. That is the whole reason they ask questions on insurance, i.e. to assess risk factors. And when they have ended discrimination against any kind of risk differentiator, no-one will have any incentive to try to avoid accidents in future because nanny insurance will cover it, so we don't have to act responsibly any more. But by then insurance will be too expensive to obtain.
Lets face it asking how old you are or how experienced a driver you are is ageist. Asking whether you have had any recent claims discriminates against the unfortunate. When it comes to life insurance, healthy 20 somethings would have to pay the same premiums for the same cover as 90 year old cancer patients. Narcoleptic smokers can burn their houses down and we all have to pay the cost, if we're fools enough to subsidise them by buying more expensive fire cover for ourselves that is. As those who need life insurance will no longer be able to afford it, we may as well get rid of insurance altogether and the social possibilities of mutual risk cover this industry once provided.
But what's the point of insurance companies asking all these questions supposedly to risk assess you when they have already made pre-judged decisions about you ?
Insurance should be sold on the risk assessment of the INDIVIDUAL and not just because you are male, female, gay, black, white or any other kind of bullshit.
I for one welcome this ruling.